These organisations are promoting conscious travel in India

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Travelling is an inexplicable part of our lives but the focus today must be on doing so while being conscious of our environment, heritage and culture. These organisations are endeavouring to promote an ecological and community-driven perspective on travel through their sustainable initiatives.

Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust

The extremely rare sight of a snow leopard is enough to draw willing expeditions and photographers to the snow-capped Himalayas. And to protect the environment and work towards its conservation, Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC-IT), an NGO working in the Trans-Himalayan regions of Ladakh and Spiti, was co-founded in 2003 by Mr. Rinchen Wangchuk, a Ladakhi mountaineer and conservationist. Volunteers at SLC-IT partake in projects such as community homestay development, handicraft development, environmental education, camera trapping, the survey of prey species and mapping of snow leopard habitat, in collaboration with local communities.

Ecosphere

Ecosphere is a social enterprise that is a collaborative effort of the local community of Spiti and professionals from diverse backgrounds whose focus is to ensure conservation, development and economic growth of the region through sustainable livelihood-generation. Ecosphere offers eco-travel in the pristine environs of the area while working towards the conservation of indigenous species of produce as well as and development of rural economies.

India Untravelled

India Untravelled works as a social enterprise with the aim to ensure travellers experience India beyond its popular towns and cities, through the eyes of its rural population by providing stays at organic farms, in villages and countryside escapes. Offering a chance to interact closely with the local communities, hosts, cooks and craftspeople, India Untravelled wishes to highlight the many pleasures and vibrant culture of India’s villages.

Dharmalaya Institute 

Dharmalaya Institute was established by a team of concerned citizens who were worried about the detrimental and haphazard development in the Himalayas and set out to offer residential programmes that focus on community development and sustainability. With their base in Himachal Pradesh’s Bir, they promote organic agricultural practices, sanitation, sustainable waste management and provide green jobs to individuals from local communities.